Tauranga artist Mr G is pushing for people to pronounce Tauranga correctly in his new "tongue-in-cheek" art piece.

The piece was created to tie in with Māori Language Week - Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori - which will take place nationwide from September 9 to 15.

Graham Hoete, who also goes by Mr G, said the sign was intended to use "art as an agent for positive change" by gently prompting people to pronounce the city's name correctly.

Theres alota things happening here in Tauranga right now...some not so good, which i believe is just a surface symptom...

Posted by Mr G Hoete Art on Thursday, 22 August 2019

"I think it's only a fair and just expectation to pronounce the name correctly, especially when it's their own hometown," he said.


"My hope is we can use this as an opportunity to get it right and become a positive example for other cities around Aotearoa."

"At the end of the day, it's the correct way to pronounce it. When you pronounce something correctly, you honour that culture as well."

Posted by Mr G Hoete Art on Saturday, 24 August 2019

Hoete said the sign was "tongue in cheek" as it was important to not force the message on people.

"Otherwise people just switch off if they feel like you're just trying to have a go at them."

He would also be placing two smaller versions of the piece around the city for people to take home if they were lucky enough to find it.

"It's kinda like a bit of a treasure hunt, bit of a free giveaway."